U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Reporting on the Courts: How the Mass Media Cover Judicial Actions

NCJ Number
William Haltom
Date Published
362 pages
This volume reviews literature from communication, law, sociology, and political science regarding the ways that the mass media cover the courts, including the United States Supreme Court, other appellate courts, criminal courts, civil litigation, and judicial selection.
The text also presents and analyzes news stories to enable students to learn how to read reporting on the courts critically. The introduction defines two contrasting perspectives on court coverage. The inside-out perspective formulates assumptions commonly used by defenders of law or journalism, whereas the more skeptical outside-in perspective appears more often in literature critical of law or journalism. The discussion argues that both these perspectives are useful, independently and together, to understand how mass media cover courts and that these perspectives often complement each other. The analysis concludes that too much of the professional self-images of adjudicators and journalists is assumed or accepted and that it is useful to examine features of court coverage from multiple viewpoints. Tables, index, chapter reference notes, and approximately 250 references